What to backup on a Linux system an what not? - Unix

This is a discussion on What to backup on a Linux system an what not? - Unix ; I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync). What is recommended to backup and what not? Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system stuff of the OS? Which of the files, ...

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Thread: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

  1. What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    What is recommended to backup and what not?

    Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    stuff of the OS?

    Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?

    And the same question on what NOT to backup? Is there more to exclude than /proc?

    Matthew

  2. Re: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    On 2008-05-06, Matthew Lincoln wrote:

    > I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    > What is recommended to backup and what not?
    >
    > Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    > stuff of the OS?
    >
    > Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?


    Definitely /etc, or at least the bits of it that you've customized.


    --
    Is one language more powerful than another? Compare, for example,
    English with Yiddish. Sure, it's hard to describe a carburetor in
    Yiddish, but try describing a schlemiel in English. (Stoll 1995)

  3. Re: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    On May 7, 1:42 pm, Adam Funk wrote:
    > On 2008-05-06, Matthew Lincoln wrote:
    >
    > > I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    > > What is recommended to backup and what not?

    >
    > > Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    > > stuff of the OS?

    >
    > > Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?

    >
    > Definitely /etc, or at least the bits of it that you've customized.


    And much more. Here some examples from a RedHat box:
    * /usr/local if you installed something manually from source.
    * /var/log
    * /var/lib examples:
    * /var/lib/imap and /var/spool/imap if you have an imap server
    * /var/lib/mailman if you are using mailman
    * /var/lib/mysql databases
    * /var/www
    I would suggest you to backup everything (excluding temporary stuff
    like /tmp) or to be very careful.

    Matteo


  4. Re: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    On 2008-05-07, Teo wrote:
    > On May 7, 1:42 pm, Adam Funk wrote:
    >> On 2008-05-06, Matthew Lincoln wrote:
    >>
    >> > I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    >> > What is recommended to backup and what not?

    >>
    >> > Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    >> > stuff of the OS?

    >>
    >> > Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?

    >>
    >> Definitely /etc, or at least the bits of it that you've customized.

    >
    > And much more. Here some examples from a RedHat box:
    > * /usr/local if you installed something manually from source.
    > * /var/log
    > * /var/lib examples:
    > * /var/lib/imap and /var/spool/imap if you have an imap server
    > * /var/lib/mailman if you are using mailman
    > * /var/lib/mysql databases
    > * /var/www
    > I would suggest you to backup everything (excluding temporary stuff
    > like /tmp) or to be very careful.
    >

    I agree. Storage is cheap, back it all up. Greatly simplifies recreating
    the system, should you need to.

    --
    Christopher Mattern

    NOTICE
    Thank you for noticing this new notice
    Your noticing it has been noted
    And will be reported to the authorities

  5. Re: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    Adam Funk wrote:
    > On 2008-05-06, Matthew Lincoln wrote:
    >
    >> I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    >> What is recommended to backup and what not?
    >>
    >> Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    >> stuff of the OS?
    >>
    >> Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?

    >
    > Definitely /etc, or at least the bits of it that you've customized.
    >
    >

    Since the OS is usually the smaller part of any working system, I tend
    to back up teh whole root an /usr as far as tar will let me (/proc /dev
    and /sys excepted) and teh /var and /home ares onto a different DVD.


    That gives me two options: data recovery, and system recovery...

  6. Re: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    On May 6, 12:10 pm, kmlincoln100@hotmail.com (Matthew Lincoln) wrote:
    > Subject: What to backup on a Linux system an what not?

    ^^^^^^^^
    > I want to backup my Linux system (with rsync).
    > What is recommended to backup and what not?

    ^^^^^^^^
    > Of cause, all the personal stuff should be saved but what about the "normal" system
    > stuff of the OS?
    > Which of the files, dirs and settings should be backuped?
    > And the same question on what NOT to backup? Is there more to exclude than /proc?


    Yes, be sure to also backup the what not ... it may be quite
    important:
    $ df -k
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/hda1 51200 10240 40960 20% /
    /dev/hda2 805306368 797253304 80530636 99% /what_not
    $

    But seriously, what ought to be backed up, how, and how often, is best
    answered in the context of the answers to the questions:
    What are the backup objectives? E.g. how fast and painless of a
    rebuild/restore is desired, vs. pain, time, loss, and not consuming
    backup resources (media, time, bandwidth, etc.)
    Got off-sites?
    Got meta-data backed up too? (e.g. at least some basic hardware and
    disk configuration information? - e.g. if you're handed a pile of
    tapes
    or disks and told "restore these" - what other information is going to
    be needed?)
    Got redundancy? Some backups (at least statistically) *will* fail
    when
    one goes to do a restore. Got reasonable number of extra copies
    distributed appropriately among multiple locations (to also cover
    off-site requirements)? Are the backups tested periodically - at
    least
    statistical sampling - to ensure the backups are at least as reliable
    as one believes them to be? With backups of multiple systems that are
    rather to quite similar, are there efficiencies to be safely gained by
    not making excessive backup copies of identical data?
    Periodically test doing restore - both selective restore (file,
    directory, file system, disk) - and whole system restore. Find and
    correct any gaps in the backup/restore procedure before they turn into
    critical uncorrectable gaps.

    Once the requirements are better understood, it's then easier to
    address what should (and possibly shouldn't) be backed up, and how
    (and
    when, and to where, etc.).

    A fairly good strategy is generally, backup everything, do it in an
    automated scheduled fashion, do rotations with off-site backups, be
    sure the meta-data is also backed up (e.g. of the surviving backup
    media, where is it, what's on it, and in what format), and test
    periodically. In most cases, more backups and backup media is much
    cheaper than losses of critical data and time.

    Other random bits:
    One probably doesn't need to backup volatile file systems, e.g.
    /dev/shm and possibly /tmp, but one may want to back them up anyway,
    and they ought to be backed up (e.g. possibly /tmp) if they're
    non-volatile. Should also skip virtual filesystems such as /proc.

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